Lee Pitts: Say ‘Cheese’
Many people got upset over the report that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using drones to spy on feedlots in Nebraska and Iowa, but it wasn’t true. It was just a rumor. The EPA vehemently denied it and said, no, they are not using drones to spy on feedlots; they are using airplanes to spy on feedlots. Doesn’t that make you feel better? The EPA says they were just trying to protect people and I know I certainly feel safer knowing that our tax dollars are being used to spy on steers in North Platte.
The EPA has the same means of aerial reconnaissance available as our military: drones, airplanes and satellites. But while our military uses them to spy on terrorists in Afghanistan, the EPA is looking for them in feedlots. But I don’t know of a single steer who has ever hijacked an airplane, set off an explosive device at a cattleman’s confab, or built a shoe bomb. Or, in their case, a hoof bomb. In fact, I don’t think a bovine has ever committed a single terrorist act in this country, unless you believe all the poppycock about cattle blowing up the world with the greenhouse gases they emit. Believe me, I know cows, and they aren’t the type to be suicide bombers.
Come to find out, the EPA has been flying such spy missions for over a decade to determine if feedlots are in compliance with environmental laws in “impaired watersheds.” Whatever that is. According to the Air Force, any incriminating evidence found against what they call “U.S. persons” during such spy flights can be shared with other government agencies and the cops. The EPA also says that “the EPA has never taken an enforcement action solely on the basis of these overflights?” So why do it?
I find such spy flights disturbing because I HATE having my picture taken. That’s why most readers think I’m 30 years younger than I really am; because I haven’t had a new photo taken for my column in three decades. I’m really older than dirt!
I’m uncomfortable living in a world where eyes are everywhere. I can’t enjoy shopping because I know there are hidden cameras in the ceiling and I’m afraid they’ll catch me scratching myself, or showing my “bad side.” Which is pretty much every side of me. Mind you, I’m not doing anything illegal, I just don’t want my embarrassing moments captured for posterity on a security camera. I want my sights unseen. That’s one reason why I’ve become a hermit, hiding in the house so I won’t be caught on camera. I hope the big bald spot on the top of my head fries their cameras!
The trouble I have with all this “eye in the sky” stuff is the same problem I have in spelling the name of the town where I’ve lived for 35 years. The small town is called Los Osos. Oh sure, I know all the letters just fine, but with all the O’s and S’s in a row sometimes I get carried away and don’t know when to stop.
Neither will our government.
One minute the EPA is spying on steers in North Platte and the next thing you know they’ll have a webcam in your television set watching you slice onions, or pet the dog in that secret spot that makes her leg jerk uncontrollably. Or they’ll have an army of Peeping Toms looking through your plate glass window.
Don’t forget to smile and “Say Cheese.”
I’m telling you, it won’t be long before the feds are using drones, which can be smaller than a baseball, to check on vegetable farmers to make sure their rows are straight, and satellite images will be used in court against a cowboy for roping a non-bovine beast. I hate the idea of knowing that some sick government geek with a joystick is watching on a bank of monitors every move we make. “Hey Joe, check out the bazooms on this nude sunbathing beauty in her backyard in Hollywood.” Or. “Mary, you should see this sicko with his arm up a cow’s rump in Amarillo.”
You just know the FBI will take that preg-checking scene out of context.